Rahim Jaffer, the former Conservative caucus chair, was recently arrested for drunk driving and cocaine possession.
After 12 years as a Member of Parliament, Jaffer lost the last election in part for his attacks on the NDP Leader Jack Layton for his progressive stance on marijuana. Jaffer implied that Mr. Layton’s comments were a threat to children and communities.
“Drunk driving is a serious offence, particularly when the driver is speeding through a village. Drunk driving risks peoples lives and has killed thousands of Canadians” said Kirk Tousaw, Executive Director of the Beyond Prohibition Foundation. “Mr. Jaffer, if convicted, belongs in jail, not for his alleged possession of cocaine but for drunk driving. The Harper Conservative government has been obsessed with appearing tough on crime. I wonder if they will crusade as vehemently against Mr Jaffer as they have against the poor, the marginalized and the addicted?”
While still a Member of Parliament, Jaffer voted in favour of Bill C26, now called C15, which seeks to impose mandatory minimum sentences, such as 6 months for 1 marijuana plant, on a host of drug offences. Jaffer, hypocritically, campaigned as a tough-on-crime anti-drug politician, insisting that even marijuana users belong in jail.
[Click here to listen to an anti-marijuana radio ad run by Jaffer’s campaign in the last election.]
“The tragic irony is that ending cannabis prohibition would make our communities safer and free police to focus on dangerous criminals, such as drunk drivers” said Jacob Hunter, the Foundation’s Policy Director. “But this government doesn’t really care about community or individual safety. It just wants to look like it does. The Conservatives have their priorities totally wrong on crime and the alleged behaviour of Rahim Jaffer provides the latest example of their hypocrisy.”
The Beyond Prohibition Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the repeal of cannabis prohibition and its replacement with a system of regulated production, distribution and use of cannabis. For more information visit www.whyprohibition.ca